To KÛTBÛDDEEN KHÂN; dated 29th DÂRÂEY. (1st August.)

WHAT you have written, on the subject of the Khûtbah* being read in our special name,* is understood. The case is this.* The first thing in the Khûtbah is the praise of God; the next, the praise of the Prophet (on whom be the blessing and peace of God); and after this [should follow] the name of such prince* of the faith, as, being a [true] pro­tector of the Mahommedan religion, keeps in view, on all occasions [i. e. in every respect], the honour and interest* of Islâm, and exerts himself for its increase and diffusion.* To introduce the names of such, and to offer up prayers for them in the Khûtbah, is among the [most] indispensable duties.* As to those ideots, who at this time introduce the name of Shâh Allum into the Khûtbah, they act through ignorance; since the real condition of the above-mentioned* is this: he is actually enslaved, and a mere cypher; being the servant of Saindeah, at the monthly wages of fifteen thousand rupees. Such being the case, to pronounce the name of a dependent of infidels, in reciting the Khûtbah, is a manifest sin, and repugnant to the laws [usages] of the Muselmâny faith. For these reasons it is written, that the Khuteeb* of that place [Adoni] must be directed to introduce our name constantly in the Khûtbah.


Whether or not the Sultan had, prior to the date of this letter, caused his own name to be substituted in the Khûtbah for that of Shah Allum, I have no means of clearly ascertaining: but it may, I think, be inferred, from the general tenor of the present document, that this was the first occasion on which he thought proper to adopt that practice; since, if it had been already established by him, he would hardly have deemed it now necessary to justify and explain it, as he has here formally endeavoured to do.

This letter, if contrasted with Letter CCCXXXIV, written nearly at the same time, will exhibit, not only the duplicity, but the inconsistency of the Sultan, in striking colors. He here, throwing off all disguise, openly declares his contempt of the reigning Emperor of Hindostan, and, in the most unequivocal manner, asserts his independence of the imperial authority. Yet he will be presently seen professing an earnest solicitude for the re-establishment of that very authority, and an ardent desire to contribute his utmost efforts towards the accomplishment of that end. There is no difficulty in comprehending, why the Sultan should, at this conjuncture, have wished to cultivate a good understanding with the Ma­hommedan powers of the north of India: and had he, steadily and judiciously pursued that object, he might have found his account in such a policy. What is most extraordinary and unaccountable in his conduct, on this occasion, is, that he should, in one and the same moment, labour to make common cause with those powers, and utterly set at nought the sovereign whom they recognized, and the authority which they at least affected to respect and uphold. Is it possible, that he should have presumed upon their probable ignorance of the transactions of Mysore? This is difficult to suppose; since the tenor of the public prayers delivered in the Mosques must necessarily be a matter of notoriety, neither requiring nor being susceptible of concealment. On the other hand, if his conduct, in this and similar cases, should be known at the court of Dehli, how could he expect that any credit would be given there to his professions of zeal and attachment? Hence we may venture to conclude, either that he actually did proceed under the notion that that court was not likely to be apprized of the arrogance of his pretensions; or that, bestowing no thought on this point, he was prompted to address the chieftains in question, rather by the desire of displaying his religious enthusiasm, and of impressing those persons with a high idea of his power and resources, than by any deliberate view to a political connexion with them, or with any serious expectation of inducing them to co-operate with him, either in the war which he was at this time waging against the Mahrattahs, or in that which, there is abundant reason to believe, he already meditated against the British nation.